One Step Enough For Me

I am an impatient person. I like to be in control. And anyone who knows me knows that I’m a planner. I like to know what’s coming and I thrive on a schedule.

Carey and I are a little nomadic at heart, longing for change or a new adventure every year or two. When we moved here to Lake Oswego things really clicked for our boys and we decided that we would stay put for them so they could go through junior high and high school in one place, with the same friends and peers. We had our escape plan though- the moment our youngest graduated from high school, we’d move on to our next adventure.

Then something odd happened. We got comfortable. Happy. We began to recognize how blessed we are to live here. We truly love the people in our ward, and the idea of growing with them for many years started to sound really nice. Carey’s job was great and we were feeling good.

It was the end of November when I said to Carey, “What if we just stayed here, after the boys are gone? Like forever.” He thought that didn’t sound so bad.

A few days later he was laid off from his job, and everything became uncertain.

All of a sudden my calendar was up in the air. Our big vacation plans, our budget, our health insurance, any plans were dampened by the uncertainty of when and where Carey might be working. We hoped that he would find something really quickly, but that hasn’t been the case.

This was torture for me at the beginning. I needed to know what was going to happen! I couldn’t function, except to stare at a computer screen and try to find my husband a job. I knew that Heavenly Father would provide something, but I also knew that we had to do our part. So I frantically worried about missing the right job or the right contact or the right prompting. I needed to know how this was going to end, and I needed it to end like now!

light-from-cloudsThen something amazing happened. Carey and I started attending the temple weekly, and it began to bring great peace into our lives. Between that, studying scriptures, and prayer, I was able to start letting go and letting God be in charge

The fear that we wouldn’t find the right path or see the big picture began to fade as I was able to accept that God sees that big picture and I don’t need to. I really don’t! I just have to trust that God will lead us along, and won’t let us go down the wrong path.

There is a hymn that has been ever present in my mind over the last month- Lead Kindly Light. The first verse says:

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene–one step enough for me.
One step at a time- that is how Heavenly Father is leading us right now.
Last week Carey had two job offers on the table. Both were good, and would have given us great security. As we fasted and prayed about each of these, we felt strongly to turn them both down.
The first one wasn’t so difficult, but the second one brought the fear right back. The fear of making the wrong choice, of missing out on something. But then we decided to trust in the answers we had been given and were immediately blessed with peace.
So we’ve made it a few more steps along the path, and continue in faith for the light to illuminate where that next step will be. I don’t need to see the distant scene. God see’s it and knows the path perfectly. One step at a time is enough for me.

Crossing the Great Deep

Ether is my favorite book in the Book of Mormon. I just love it. It is full of so many great jewels. And is basically the entire Book of Mormon condensed down to one book.

I don’t claim to be a scholar or a deep thinker. And I’m not great with words. But I do think about things and I love seeing types or symbols in things I read.

The story of the Jaredites begins when the languages are confounded at the Tower of Babel. Jared asks his brother to pray that they, and then their family and friends might not be confounded. The Lord agrees, and then Jared again sends his brother to pray about where the Lord will lead them.

The Lord promises them a land which is choice above all other lands. And so the Jaredites prepare for their journey and take off, with the Lord leading them along the way.

They end up in a land by the sea. They call the land Moriancumer, pitch their tents, and hang out for four years.

The seashore obviously wasn’t the end of their journey, but sometimes I wonder if they thought it was. They had already left everything, and  sacrificed, and traveled a great distance. Then they come to the sea. Maybe it was a beautiful place. Maybe they thought they had made it. Maybe they didn’t know that the Lord had something even better for them.

The brother of Jared goes and prays, and after being chastened for not calling upon the Lord, he repents and is then told to get to work and build barges, which he and his people do.

They make these great ships- tight like a dish. But they are worried about air. How will they breathe while in the boat? The Lord tells him how to handle it and they make some holes in each barge.

120Then the brother of Jared cries unto the Lord again, for they have nothing to light their vessels.

Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?

The Lord asks him what he wants him to do. And then says:

For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come.


I love this so much. img_6954

A couple of thoughts about these verses (which are Ether 2:24-25). What if we look at the Jaredites journey to the seashore as our pre-earth life. We worked hard. We prepared.

The choice land, or land of promise, could be viewed as eternal life. Our ultimate goal and destination. Life with God and our families forever.

So that would make this life the great deep. The water we must cross. Full of mountain waves that dash upon us, and winds and floods. Trials, pains, fears, disappointments.

This is why these verses are so great…

Nevertheless I will bring you up again out of the depths. 

The winds have gone forth out of my mouth.

I prepare you against these things.20140524_193059

God knows we will face hard times. What a comfort it is to know that he is in control. And he has prepared us to face these things.
We cannot cross the great deep without light. And he has provided it for us. Christ is our light. The gospel is our light. The scriptures, the temple. We have been given so much light to get us through.

Behold, O Lord, wilt thous suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?

Next time you find yourself asking that question, remember the answer.

He has provided us with the light. He is the light.